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ERIC Number: ED516879
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 92
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals. Volume One: Summary Report. Research Report #51
Silber, Bohne; Rosenstein, Carole
National Endowment for the Arts
This study began with a readily understandable impulse: to enumerate the nation's outdoor arts festivals and to identify their shared and divergent traits, considering factors such as event programming, staffing, finances, and audience demographics. The reason for this query is also straightforward. To date, no single report or database carries such comprehensive information about arts festivals nationwide. Given their pervasive role in American cultural life, this discrepancy is something more than a matter for regret. Repeat iterations of the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA's) Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) have shown that festivals and fairs collectively attract more unique audience members per year than most arts events. In aggregate, U.S.-based outdoor arts festivals surveyed by the NEA display the following characteristics: (1) Activities spanning a wide array of art forms converge in a single space; (2) Festival audiences describe a demographically diverse audience, one that appears to mirror characteristics of the U.S. population; (3) Most outdoor arts festivals appear committed to achieving a high-quality arts experience for their audiences; (4) Arts educational opportunities form a component of most outdoor arts festivals; (5) Most outdoor arts festivals are free of charge. Most others offer some form of discounted ticketing; (6) Most outdoor arts festivals occur in small to mid-sized communities; (7) They occur in publicly accessible places that are family-friendly; (8) Most outdoor arts festivals (59%) have occurred in the same community for more than a decade; (9) Support of local government agencies is crucial to the success of outdoor arts festivals; and (10) Outdoor arts festivals rely heavily on volunteers and a small number of dedicated staff. (Contains 13 tables, 58 figures and 57 footnotes.) [For related report, "Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals. Volume Two: Seven Case Studies. Research Report #51", see ED516880.]
National Endowment for the Arts. 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506. Tel: 202-682-5400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Arts